Top 3 Ways to Get Your VA Home Loan Certificate of Eligibility Online in 2021 [New Tutorial]

How to Get VA COE

In this high-value post, I’m going to show you how to view and download your VA home loan Certificate of Eligibility (COE) online in 2021 by following a simple 5-step process.

To start the VA home loan process, you’ll need to confirm your basic VA loan eligibility for your private lender, using a simple one-page form called the VA Home Loan Certificate of Eligibility (COE) or VA COE.

Your one-page VA COE form lists your full name, branch of service, reference number, any prior VA loans charged to entitlement, your basic eligibility and entitlement, VA funding fee waiver status, and your most current monthly VA disability compensation pay rate for 2021.

Here’s a really important tip about the VA home loan funding fee waiver: If you have a service-connected disability rating of 10% or higher, do NOT pay the VA funding fee to your private lender (you’re exempt).

If your private lender tells you to pay it, immediately send them a copy of your VA COE form for verification of your VA funding fee waiver exemption status.

If for some reason you’ve already paid your VA funding fee by mistake, you’re eligible for a full refund, and all you need to do is call the VA Regional Loan Center hotline at 877-827-3702.

Did you know there are 3 easy ways to get your VA Home Loan COE online in 2021?

Top 3 Easiest Ways to Get Your VA COE Online in 2021

Why do I need a VA Certificate of Eligibility?

Your VA Certificate of Eligibility (COE) is important because it will show your private VA loan lender whether you qualify for a VA home loan based on your service history and duty status.

Think of it as Step #1 in securing your VA home loan – it’s the basic price of admission.

5 Step Process to Get Your VA Home Loan Certificate of Eligibility (COE) Online

  • Step #1: Go to the eBenefits homepage
  • Step #2: Click “Login” at the top right-hand corner of the page
  • Step #3: Hover over the “Apply” button in the top menu bar, and then click “Housing”
  • Step #4: Scroll down to “Housing,” and then click “Certificate of Eligibility for Home Loan”
  • Step #5: Once the system has finished processing, you can click the “View Your COE” link

WATCH: How to Download Your VA Loan Certificate of Eligibility Online (*NEW* 5-Step Video Tutorial)

How to Download Your VA COE Online (Video Tutorial)

5 Step Process to Download Your VA Home Loan Certificate of Eligibility From eBenefits (Step-By-Step Tutorial)

Step #1: Go to the eBenefits homepage

Go to the eBenefits homepage at www.ebenefits.va.gov
Go to the eBenefits homepage at www.ebenefits.va.gov

Step #2: Click “Login” at the top right-hand corner of the page

Click Login on eBenefits Homepage in the top right corner of the page.

Step #3: Hover over the “Apply” button in the top menu bar, and then click “Housing”

How to get VA COE hover over Apply and click Housing

Step #4: Scroll down to “Housing,” and then click “Certificate of Eligibility for Home Loan”

VA Home Loan Certificate of Eligibility
VA Home Loan Certificate of Eligibility

*****Note that you must have an eBenefits Premium account to view and download your VA COE form online.

How to Get an eBenefits Premium Account (Tutorial)

If you need an eBenefits Premium Account, you can upgrade your existing account online in a few simple steps.

Start by going to the eBenefits homepage, and clicking “Login” at the top right hand corner of the page.

Next, scroll down to the bottom of the page and click the “Upgrade to Premium Account” link, just like the screenshot below.

Follow the prompts to upgrade to an eBenefits Premium Account–that’s it!

eBenefits Premium Account
eBenefits Premium Account

Step #5: Once the system has finished processing, you can click the “View Your COE” link

Click the "View Your VA COE"
Click the “View Your COE” link

*****Note that your VA COE will be in a PORTAL file format.

To download your VA Certificate of Eligibility letter in .pdf format, click the Printer icon at the top right-hand corner of the page, and for the Destination, select “Save as PDF.”

Finally, click “Save” and download your new VA COE letter to your desktop.

Example VA COE Form

VA COE Letter Example
VA COE Letter Example

Do I need to meet a minimum credit score for a VA home loan?

No, the VA does NOT have a minimum credit score requirement to secure a VA home loan.

However, private lenders absolutely DO have minimum credit score requirements.

Thus, you’ll still need to meet your private lender’s credit score and income requirements to receive financing, especially if you want more favorable VA home loan terms and conditions.

Generally, the higher your credit score, the better the interest rate and loan terms you’ll receive from a private lender.

In 2021, most private VA lenders require a minimum credit score of 620.

Note that you may still qualify for a VA home loan with a credit score below 620, however, your options will be limited.

What are the minimum active duty service requirements for a VA home loan in 2021?

When did you serve on active duty?Minimum active duty service requirements for VA home loan
Between September 16, 1940, and July 25, 1947 (WWII)90 total days, or Less than 90 days if you were discharged for a service-connected disability
Between July 26, 1947, and June 26, 1950 (post-WWII period)181 continuous days, or Less than 181 days if you were discharged for a service-connected disability
Between June 27, 1950, and January 31, 1955 (Korean War)90 total days, or Less than 90 days if you were discharged for a service-connected disability
Between February 1, 1955, and August 4, 1964 (post-Korean War period)181 continuous days, or Less than 181 days if you were discharged for a service-connected disability
Between August 5, 1964, and May 7, 1975 (Vietnam War), or February 28, 1961, to May 7, 1975, if you served in the Republic of Vietnam90 total days, or Less than 90 days if you were discharged for a service-connected disability
Between May 8, 1975, and September 7, 1980 (post-Vietnam War period), or Between May 8, 1975, and October 16, 1981, if you served as an officer181 continuous days, or Less than 181 days if you were discharged for a service-connected disability
Between September 8, 1980, and August 1, 1990, or Between October 17, 1981, and August 1, 1990, if you served as an officer24 continuous months, or The full period (at least 181 days) for which you were called to active duty
Between August 2, 1990, and the present (Gulf War Period)24 continuous months, or The full period (at least 90 days) for which you were called or ordered to active duty, or At least 90 days if you were discharged for a hardship, a reduction in force, or for convenience of the government, or Less than 90 days if you were discharged for a service-connected disability
You separated from service after September 7, 1980, or After October 16, 1981, if you served as an officer24 continuous months, or The full period (at least 181 days) for which you were called or ordered to active duty, or At least 181 days if you were discharged for a hardship, a reduction in force, or for convenience of the government, or Less than 181 days if you were discharged for a service-connected disability
I’m on active duty now90 continuous days

VA Loan Certificate of Eligibility – Frequently Asked Questions

#1. My VA COE says my basic entitlement is only $36,000. What does this mean?

Awe yes, no need to freak out!

This line on your VA COE is for your private lender.

It shows whether you have full VA loan entitlement.

The $36,000 isn’t the total amount you can borrow.

Rather, it means that if you default on a loan that’s under $144,000, the VA guarantees to pay your lender up to $36,000.

For loans over $144,000, the VA guarantees to pay your lender up to 25% of the total loan amount.

#2. Why does my VA Certificate of Eligibility say, “This Veteran’s basic entitlement is $0”?

Again, this line on your VA COE is information for your VA lender.

It shows that you’ve used your home loan benefit before and don’t have remaining entitlement.

If the basic entitlement listed on your VA COE form is more than $0, you likely have remaining entitlement and can use your VA home loan benefit again.

#3. What is the VA COE Prior Loans Charged to Entitlement?

On your COE form, in the table called “Prior Loans Charged to Entitlement,” the VA lists the amount of your entitlement you’ve already used under the Entitlement Charged column.

Your VA loan entitlement can be restored when you sell your property and pay your VA loan in-full or repay in full any claim the VA has paid.

#4. Can my private lender get my VA Certificate of Eligibility for me?

Yes, so definitely ask your private lender to assist you.

Your private mortgage lender for your VA home loan can request your Certificate of Eligibility (COE) for you through the VA’s Loan Guaranty website, aka the LGY HUB

All requests for VA COE’s on behalf of veterans are reviewed in the order received with over 99% completed within 5 business days.

#5. Can I request my VA COE form by mail?

Yes, you can request your VA COE by mail.

To apply by mail, you’ll need to fill out a Request for a VA Certificate of Eligibility (VA Form 26-1880) and mail it to the addresses listed on the form, depending upon your state of residence.

Keep in mind that this will take longer than applying online or having your VA lender obtain it through the VA’s LGY HUB.

Click the link below to download a .pdf version of the VA Form 26-1880, Request for a VA Certificate of Eligibility:

>> Download VA Form 26-1880 (PDF) <<

About the Author

Brian Reese Air Force Veteran
Brian Reese Air Force Veteran

Brian Reese is a VA benefits expert, former military officer, and founder of VA Claims Insider – “The Most Trusted Name in Education-Based Resources for Veterans.”

His frustration with the 8-step VA disability claims process led him to create “VA Claims Insider,” which provides U.S. military veterans with tips, strategies, and lessons learned to win their VA disability compensation claim in less time.

Brian is also the CEO of Military Disability Made Easy, which is the world’s largest free searchable database for all things related to DoD disability and VA disability, and has served more than 6,000,000 military members and veterans since its founding in 2013.

He is a former active duty Air Force officer with extensive experience leading hundreds of individuals and multi-functional teams in challenging international environments, including a combat tour to Afghanistan in 2011 in support of Operation ENDURING FREEDOM.

Brian is a Distinguished Graduate of Management from the United States Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs, CO and he holds an MBA from Oklahoma State University’s Spears School of Business, Stillwater, OK, where he was a National Honor Scholar (Top 1% of Graduate School class).

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